Summary: Sermon series on becoming the mighty men and women of God Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing. - Aesop

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but imitation will get your beat down by Lucifer and without your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

John 1: 9-13 - The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and they are right…sometimes. If it is a show in Vegas, yes, it might be fun to watch an Elvis, Michael Jackson, Cher, Tina Turner, or Dolly Parton impersonators. While these imitations are entertaining, they are lacking the greatest thing the originals have to offer. This thing is the power or ability to be the original. Likewise, the first thing John reveals to us in his Gospel is ‘In the beginning, was God..’ or the original God.

Therefore, what is the role of imitation in the life of a child of God and those of us characterized as Christians? Paul’s correction of the church in I Corinthians 4:16 demands we imitate him, and in Ephesians 5:1 for us to follow God’s example as dearly beloved children.

The major problem is as Christians we have not. As an article I read during my research pointed out, if we read the Gospels with a fresh eye, as if we do not know how the story is going to come out, we have absolutely no concept what Jesus is going to do. Even if we did, he is healing or working miracles and as Christians, we are not. Therefore, as the article points out, I am afraid imitating Him is rather unrealistic because imitating Him just boil down to being a good Christian. This is where we obey the golden rule and treat everyone nice. It is labeled Christianity. However, I am sure this is not the Real Thing.

We are given a vivid example of the folly of imitation in Acts 19: 13-20. Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus, I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus knew this, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number that had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

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